When Insults Had Class

These insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words. My dad had the talent of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that the listener looked forward to the trip. I fear this talent has been nearly lost to this generation.

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” — Winston Churchill

“I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.” — Clarence Darrow

“He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.” — William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

Dorothy Parker: (of Kate Hepburn in a Broadway play)
“She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”
“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

Mark Twain: “He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.”
“His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.”
“Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I’ll waste no time reading it.”

Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914): “The covers of this book are too far apart.”

Moses Hadas: “I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”

Stephen Bishop: “He is a self-made man and worships his creator.”

Irvin S. Cobb: “He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.”

Samuel Johnson: “He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”

Paul Keating: “In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.”

Charles, Count Talleyrand: “He loves nature in spite of what it did to him.”

Forrest Tucker: “Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?”

Mae West: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”

Andrew Lang (1844-1912): “I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

Groucho Marx: “I always enjoy myself. It’s other people I have trouble enjoying.”

Jack E. Leonard: “He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.”

Robert Redford: “They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge.”

Thomas Brackett Reed: “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.”

Billy Wilder: “He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

Abraham Lincoln: “A modest little person, with much to be modest about.”

An exchange between Winston Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, “If you were my husband I’d give you poison.” He said, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.”

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: “Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.”
“That depends, Sir,” said Disraeli, “whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.”

An exchange between Dorothy Parker and a nasty hostess:
(The hostess gestures for Miss Parker to precede her through the entrance.) “Age before beauty.”
(Miss Parker steps through the door.) “Pearls before swine.”

~Truth is meaningless in the absence of understanding~
~Increase Your Reading Comprehension~!

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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